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The Hitman trilogy comes to Game Pass on January 20th

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On January 20th, IO Interactive will celebrate the in a style befitting Agent 47’s sharp suit. It will release a bundle of all three World of Assassination games on PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. What’s more, the bundle will be available to Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate subscribers at no extra cost.

Hitman 3 will debut on Steam on the same day, one year after it arrived on Epic Games Store. Epic’s on PC might have for those who wanted to pull in locations from the first two games. In any case, you’ll soon be able to access the whole trilogy on Steam

Later this month, PC players can check out Hitman 3‘s virtual reality mode. Given that owners of the previous two games can access locations from those titles, you’ll be able to play the entire trilogy in VR. The virtual reality mode has been since last January.

IO has also laid out some of its content plans for Year Two of Hitman 3. In Elusive Target Arcade, each contract will challenge players to take down multiple Elusive Targets in a certain order, with some complications added for good measure. 

Unlike standard Elusive Targets, which you only get one shot at, Arcade contracts are permanent additions to the game. The twist is that, if you fail a contract, you need to wait 12 hours before you can try again. IO says this will help Arcade contracts retain the high-stakes spirit of Elusive Targets. Three Arcade Contracts will be added on January 20th, with more to follow later in the year.

Another new mode called Freelancer is coming to Hitman 3 this spring. It includes a customizable safehouse where you can plan out missions. That’s important, because the mode has roguelike elements. If you take gear out on a mission and don’t return with it, that equipment will vanish from your inventory. However, you’ll be able to acquire weapons and items from Suppliers that you find in mission locations.

Later this year, IO will add a ray-tracing mode to the PC version of Hitman 3, which will work with locations from the other games. The studio also plans to harness , Intel’s answer to NVIDIA DLSS and AMD FSR upscaling tech, as well as variable rate shading to boost performance.

Even though IO Interactive has another exciting project in the works , it’s nice to see the studio giving Hitman fans plenty to look forward to as well.

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Lenovo made a $329 Snapdragon-powered Windows 11 tablet for students

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has revealed its latest batch of devices geared toward students. Perhaps the most eye-catching offering is a Snapdragon 7c-powered Windows 11 tablet. The company suggests the 10w Tablet might be a great fit for younger students, since the device has a rugged design with a rubber bumper and Corning Gorilla Glass on the Full HD, 10.1-inch display. The screen has a 16:10 aspect ratio and 400 nits of brightness. There are 2MP front-facing and 8MP rear-facing cameras too.

Lenovo 10w Tablet

Lenovo

The tablet comes with a detachable keyboard and there’s an optional pen. The 10w Tablet has a 30Whr battery and comes with up to 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM and up to 128GB of eMMC storage. Unfortunately, there’s only one USB-C port, but there is a headphone jack, which should help students avoid having to fiddle with the Windows Bluetooth settings. The tablet weighs 573g (1.26 lbs) and 1.1kg (2.42 lbs) with the keyboard.

Lenovo suggests the Snapdragon platform will help deliver responsive performance, dependable WiFi connectivity and an extended battery life. The ARM-based Windows experience hasn’t historically , but we haven’t seen Windows 11 running on Snapdragon 7c chipsets as yet. Microsoft has seemingly improved the Windows-on-ARM experience, however. 

The 10w Tablet and keyboard bundle starts at $239 and it’s expected to ship in the US in April.

For (perhaps older) students who need extra power, Lenovo is also planning to ship the 13w Yoga convertible laptop in April. The system is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5000 U-series processor with on-chip graphics.

The laptop has a 13.3-inch, Full HD display with 300 nits of brightness. The front-facing 1080p camera has a privacy shutter and you’ll find a 5MP camera on the rear. There’s an optional fingerprint reader on the power button too.

Lenovo 13w Yoga

Lenovo

The 13w Yoga includes up to 16GB of 3200Mhz DDR4 RAM (which users can upgrade) and up to a 512GB SSD. Lenovo says it has Dolby Audio and a 51Whr battery.

The connectivity options are far more generous than on the 10w Tablet. Along with an audio jack, there are two USB-C 3.2 ports, one USB-A 3.2 port, a full SD card reader and HDMI 2.0. There’s WiFi 6 and optional 4G LTE support as well. The 13w Yoga will start at $749.

In addition, Lenovo announced a partnership with VictoryXR to offer educational experiences in . Students will be able to access more than 60 VR titles from VictoryXR, centered around science, history and career and technical education. They’ll be able to virtually visit the likes of The Great Wall of China and see California Redwoods.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service grows to 25 million subscribers

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Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service now has 25 million subscribers. That’s up from the 18 million Microsoft previously reported in January last year. The Xbox Game Pass all-you-can-eat catalog of downloadable games — or the “Netflix for video games” as it’s often described — continues to attract new subscribers as Microsoft looks to extend the service.

As Microsoft’s subscriber numbers grow, so does the amount of titles available on Xbox Game Pass. In 2021, Xbox Game Pass added iconic Bethesda games, with 20 in total on the service, including Dishonored, Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Wolfenstein.

Microsoft announced the milestone while revealing its planned $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which will have Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and its 10,000 employees reporting to Phil Spencer.

Microsoft:

The acquisition also bolsters Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 25 million subscribers. With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, this acquisition will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry. Upon close, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios, along with additional publishing and esports production capabilities.

Spencer said in a blog post that “we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog.” There are no specifics, but with the Warcraft, Call of Duty, Diablo, and Candy Crush brands to choose from — to name a few — the service will have a lot of options.

Microsoft has also been chasing sports fans over the past year with the addition of NBA 2K21, Madden NFL 21, NHL 21, and more. Outriders also debuted on Xbox Game Pass last year, and Microsoft added Flight Simulator to the service over the summer. Microsoft also had a big Xbox Game Pass holiday, with Age of Empires IV, Forza Horizon 5, and Halo Infinite launching day one on the service.

Microsoft has also been working on extending where Xbox Game Pass is available, thanks to Xbox Game Streaming. A web version of Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly Project xCloud) was made widely available to players on iOS and PC last summer, and Microsoft started rolling the service out to Xbox consoles in November. This will allow newer games, like Microsoft Flight Simulator, to be streamed and played on older Xbox consoles too, as the service is fully powered by Xbox Series X hardware.



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Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion

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Microsoft just made one of the largest-ever bids for a game studio. The company has announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $95 per share, valuing the all-cash deal at an enormous $68.7 billion. The deal would make the combined entity the “third-largest” game company by revenue, according to Microsoft, and would put titles like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft under the company’s wing. Microsoft plans to add Activision Blizzard games to Game Pass as part of the deal.

Developing…

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